Tag Archives: center for creative retirement

Time Really Does Go Faster As We Age

Diane Puckett

Time really does go faster as we age. It has been a year since we moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina, but it seems like we just got here. The year has been quite a whirlwind of change.

Full Moon in DC

The biggest change – leaving the Washington, DC area, a place I had lived over half a century, (did I really say that?).  It’s my entire life. Though we had planned to move to Asheville for years, it was still a big deal, and happened far more quickly than anticipated. With a beautiful full moon and all the planets apparently in alignment, our house sold in two days.

Thus began the whirlwind. Three full moons later, we would move to the mountains, and there was much to do.

There were many people to say goodbye to, knowing I would never see most of them again. I closed the psychotherapy practice I had worked years to establish, bidding farewell to clients and colleagues. The local pottery studio, my hangout of kindred spirits was toughest to leave. Well, other than my sister, but that’s too tender to write about now.

We headed South on a cold December day, cars crammed full of stuff and our two beagles along for the ride. Not long after we arrived, a snowstorm followed, leaving us with no electricity and lots of tree damage. It was a tough winter, especially since we knew almost no one. Our holidays were non-existent, as we were busy moving.  The day I found myself strolling through Walmart for entertainment, I knew something had to change. Facebook provides an illusion of a social life, but it’s not reality. The North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement at UNCA was my lifeline during that long winter, feeding my brain and giving me a connection with other people.


Molly Beagle, my best bud for thirteen years, slowly wound down and passed on to the Rainbow Bridge. Our last day together was a sacred time – we cuddled up, and I talked to her about the good times we shared together.  At the end, I sang the Golden Girls theme song to her. I’m grateful Molly had some time here in our beautiful new place. We buried her next to my studio where she will have her own garden of the flowers she loved.

Diane's studio

Living here feels like I’ve finally come home. I love the spirit of this place, the creativity, the energy.  It’s been a year now, and I feel like I’m finding my niche. I’ve made good friends and know many of our neighbors.  I have an almost-finished pottery studio, a dream-come-true.

I’ve given in to my craving for a hammered dulcimer and have begun music lessons again after a 45-year hiatus. Maybe this time around I’ll practice.

Most of all, I love the magnificent mountains. I cannot even think of adequate words to describe them. May I never take them for granted or stop seeing them.

Creative Retirement: Is There Such a Thing?


If you’re thinking about a trip to the beautiful mountains of Asheville, NC,  think about the week of September 20-26th.  It’s Active Aging Week, and the theme is:  Be Active Your Way. The Center for Creative Retirement at The University of North Carolina  (www2.unca.edu/nccr/) will participate by hosting Active Aging Day, a free series of activities, lectures, and displays on Saturday, September 25th, at The Reuter Center on the UNCA campus from 9 am until 4 pm.  Mid-day keynote speaker will be James Laditka, MD from UNC Charlotte. Dr. Laditka will talk about The Brain Initiative.  Activities will be held throughout the day and include things such as Zumba, Fun With Words & Games, Tai Chi, Line Dancing, Nia, and Laughter Yoga. Lectures will be held on topics such as “The Benefits of Exercise,” “Gardening for Your Health,” “Food for Your Brain,” and “Hiking the Blue Ridge.”  Talk about aging gracefully!

Unfortunately, I can’t go because I’ll be visiting my sister in New Mexico, but if I was here, I’d sure be soaking in all the free activities – “Laughter Yoga” is my favorite pick.

If you go and want to write about your experience, send it to us, and we’ll post it.